Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Yes, we can pick up and drop off at the National Park Visitors Center dock. We will have to use the “Angle Dock” not the ”T” dock out front Please ask for an NPS Pickup by adding this into the “Special Request” field when booking. This dock can be very congested and cause delays in boarding and deboarding.

We pick you up on the beach in front of High Tide Restaurant and the take a short dingy ride to Helios. The First Mate will greet you on arrival and help you onboard. Once onboard everyone heads to the stern (back) of Helios to the cockpit. After a short safety briefing and explanation of the nuances of Helios we will discuss what you want out of the day. If you want to snorkel and see sea turtles and rays and or great coral the Captain will determine the best spots and plan a course according to the experience level of the group. If you want to just sail, take the helm, or just sit and relax the Captain will plan a course accordingly. All plans are contingent on wind, waves, sea condition and mooring availability. This is fluid and can  be adjusted to ensure you have a great day.  After leaving Cruz Bay, beverages are served as well as snacks. If the sail is a full day sail, lunch will be served . The rest of the sail will be determined on what you want to do, snorkel more, chill and swim or go sailing.

When we arrive back in Cruz Bay, we like to take a group photo , before the short dingy ride back where we picked you up. Our goal for the day is to help you have  exactly the experience that you wanted to have. 

 

Yes, this is how it works.

  1. Select “Book Now” then click on the ‘purchase voucher’ button
  2. Selects what to purchase, but do not book a date/time
  3. When paid, you will receive a voucher that can be printed out and included in a gift card
  4. The person receiving the gift visits the our web address printed on the voucher, and books a date/time
  5. The price of the gift is never shown to the person receiving the gift

Unfortunately Coral Bay pickups are not feasible. The travel time to get to and from would take up too much of your valuable boat time. We can refer you to a Coral Bay charter company or you can travel to Cruz Bay, have your boat day and then enjoy Cruz Bay dining, shopping and entertainment before heading back to Coral Bay.


For same day and next day sails you will need to text the Captain @ 340-244-3290.

For any other dates/times, availability can be seen be selecting the ”Book Now” button, select the sail you prefer, press the ”Book Button”. This brings up more information with a calendar on the bottom. The days that are shaded are already booked for that sail. Keep in mind that 1/2 day morning sail being booked will make the Full day sail unavailable, but the afternoon sail and sunset sail would still be available. So, if the day is most important, check each sail because one of them might be available for your specific day.

Yes, but only in conjunction with Afternoon 1/2 Day and Sunset Sails.

We highly recommend the Reef Bay Ranger Guided Hike  offered through The Friends of the Park. However, if the availability doesn’t  fit in your schedule Helios can help.

After you hike down the trail, we will pick you up in a dingy for a short ride to Helios and the start of your sail. 

From the NPS website “This is a strenuous hike that will take you past some of the oldest and tallest trees on the island. Danish sugar plantation ruins, stone walls from cattle grazing, and ancient rock carvings left behind by the pre-Colombian Taino can be found along the trail. During rainy season the waterfall can be spectacular.

Signs along the trail provide information regarding the plants, their traditional uses and other interesting information regarding the days of the sugar plantations.

This backcountry trail is steep in places, uneven and rocky, and can be slippery even when dry –you’ll need sturdy, closed-toe shoes and a sure foot. Take plenty of water, some snacks and a lunch, and a hat. Mosquito repellent is a good idea, too, and a swimsuit if you’d like to take a dip in the ocean down at the beach at the end of the trail. From the trailhead to the beach is about three miles one way. Plan on about three and one half hours from trailhead to valley floor; it will take longer hiking the 900 foot elevation gain on the way up and out.

If you would like to join a ranger-led hike on this trail visit Friends of Virgin Islands National Park or visit our Ranger Programs and Guided Tours page for more information about this and other guided hikes.

Lime Out is our favorite Taco on island. The prevailing winds are in the exact direction we would need to travel to get there. We try not to go there on a sailboat as 1/2 of your sail would be motoring straight into the wind. If you want to go we can book you on a powerboat or a shuttle from Coral Bay

Capt Jay is an Ordained Minister and can perform ceremonies for up to 12 paying guest (including the Bride and Groom) We can arrange for a photographer , cake , getting the brides hair done and still have a great sail.

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the vessel at anytime.

Of course!  We cater to kids of all ages. Adults must accompany children at all times.  If you feel your child needs a life jacket we do recommend you bring a comfortable life jacket to wear during the cruise, or we will provide a child PFD.  Currently we have three child orange PFD’s, one Toddler and one Infant ( more comfortable )PFD’s on board.

 

GRATUITY

Gratuity for good service is always appreciated in support of the livelihood of our crew. 20% of the total trip cost is customary for a job well done.   

CUSTOMS

Trips to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) include customs fees of $75 per person and require a valid passport for each passenger. BVI trips also require clearing back into USVI customs upon reentry.  

Lunch is not included on sailing charters to the BVI, however, plentiful options are available for purchase.

  • All excursions include proper safety equipment, snorkel gear, floats, a Bluetooth compatible speaker/sound system, private restroom, shade, ample seating for all, and unlimited drinks along with your expert Coast Guard certified Captain. 
  • Domestic day sailing charters within the USVI include a lunch of sandwiches, fruit, chips, and cookies. Guests also have the option of purchasing lunch from Lovango Beach Club and PiZZA Pi VI, a floating USVI pizza boat near an incredible snorkel spot. Please let us know of any special dietary needs or preferences in advance and you are also welcome to bring food onboard.
  • Unlimited drinks for all ages are included on all excursions.

We may be able to accommodate other departure locations aside from Cruz Bay for certain excursions, however, there are often extra fees and/or logistical considerations associated with private dock usage.

The BVI’s are ”Open” as far as COVID restrictions are concerned. However, As of July 2022, The BVI government is making it virtually impossible for USA companies to bring boats into their waters.

CANCELLATION DUE TO WEATHER

We will check the marine forecast prior to your trip. If the Captain determines that the conditions are too dangerous or uncomfortable, we will cancel your trip free of charge and work to reschedule you for another day during your vacation that you are available. That said, it’s extremely common for it to rain at some point during the day and we don’t let that stop the fun.

CANCELLATION DUE TO NO SHOW

We require 7 days for trip cancellations and reserve the right to keep any nonrefundable deposits paid. In the event that your party does not show up for a trip, we will collect a cancellation fee not to exceed the base price of your trip.

EXTRA SERVICE OFFERINGS

Please ask us for any special requests–on or off the boat! Possibilities may include: 

  • Villa pick up and drop off
  • Transportation
  • Provisioning
  • Concierge services
  • Overnight/term-charters
  • Special events or destinations
  • Proposals/wedding ceremonies/vow renewals/anniversaries/memorials, ash release
  • Island tours
  • Guided snorkels

We gladly accept cash, checks, Venmo, PayPal and credit cards. A 6% processing fee applies to all credit card transactions.

 

In Cruz Bay, street parking is free but limited. There are parking lots available at The Lumberyard, Slim Man’s at the Wharfside, at L&L next to Extra Virgin Bistro, behind Tap & Still and by gravel lot by the tennis courts. Please allow yourself time to find parking and to walk to your pick up location.

The USVI ban on non-reef safe sunscreen is now in effect. To be compliant, we recommend wearable sun protection such as a hat, sunglasses, and protective clothing (e.g., a rash guard/SPF shirt) as well as sunscreen containing zinc oxide. Check sunscreen ingredient lists for harmful chemicals as oxybenzone, octoerylene, and octinoxate damage coral and marine life and are known carcinogens and hormone disrupters in humans. 

Please refrain from using aerosol spray sunscreens or bronzers as they stain the boat.

Our vessels are inspected and outfitted with proper safety equipment, supplies, and technology. We are certified and trained in first aid and begin each charter with a safety briefing according to Coast Guard regulations. Please be sure to inform us of any health issues, concerns, medications, or challenges that we should be aware of at the beginning of your charter. For safety reasons, we ask that you refrain from alcohol consumption until after you have finished snorkeling.

For the best snorkeling experience: 

  1. Apply the provided defogging solution and rinse your mask so that a little of the residue remains on the glass. We are here to help!
  2. Clear your face of hair as possible and put the mask on your face. Inhale through your nose to check the seal. Put the strap on so that it sits high on the back of your head and pull/release straps on each side to tighten or loosen for a comfortable fit. Once your mask is in place, leave it on to prevent air from getting in and fogging up the glass.
  3. Take your fins and put them on while seated near your entry point into the water. There is no right or left foot. Make sure they are snug enough to stay on.
  4. With your snorkel in your mouth and a hand holding your mask in place, take a giant stride from your entry point on the boat into the water. Take a look down and have a few breaths to make sure your gear is working well for you.
  5. Lay flat on the surface of the water face-down and relax. You will require no effort or movement to float. Keep your legs straight without bending at the knees to make small kicks stemming from your hips. Small, quiet movements will be less scary to marine life and will result in you seeing more sea creatures! Let us know if you are hoping to see anything in particular so that we can show you to the right spot!
  6. Be mindful of your fins and careful not to touch anything under the water to avoid getting hurt or causing damage to any part of the marine environment. The slightest touch can destroy years of coral growth. Our waters are extremely safe to snorkel as long as you look but don’t touch to avoid cuts, scrapes, stings, and bites. 
  7. Listen to Captain and/or crew instructions about where to go and where not to go. Use hand signals as instructed to communicate your wellness status once in the water. Relax if you get caught in a current–we will come to the rescue!
  8. Remove fins to come up the ladder and tell us what you saw!
  • Hats
  • Towels
  • Sunglasses
  • Reef safe sunscreen
  • Phones/cameras/Bluetooth compatible devices with music playlists (or leave the tunes to us!)
  • Bathing suits
  • Passports (if traveling to the BVIs)
  • ID, cash and credit cards – always a good idea for your gift shopping pleasures
  • Take any medications for nausea before boarding the boat for optimal effect

We offer sailing cruises with the option of snorkeling. We are not equipped for fishing or any watersports other than snorkel trips but we are happy to provide recommendations!

Coming from the airport you have a few choices. The most common one is to walk straight out of baggage claim at the airport to a line of waiting taxis. Tell the person directing people at the exit door “Red Hook”. They will direct you to a taxi that will leave for Red Hook when full. That taxi ride will take usually 45 minutes to an hour. The taxi will drop you off at the Red Hook ferry terminal where you will board a ferry to Cruz Bay Ferry Dock. The RedHook to Cruz Bay ferry runs each hour, on the hour normally.  ALWAYS CHECK ONLINE TO CONFIRM . See Ferry Tickets

Another way is to catch the Crown Bay Ferry to Cruz Bay “Creek Bulk Head”.  This is a great option, if this ferry is running at a time that is convenient for you. The Crown Bay ferry only runs a couple of times per day ( in season only). The option is a 5 minute taxi ride and a longer ferry ride. You will get to see the south side of St Thomas, pass very close to the St James islands and then to STJ.  The BulkHead is a 3 minute walk from the Cruz Bay Ferry terminal . See Ferry Tickets

You can rent a car at the airport drive to Red Hook and then bring the car on the Car Barge. This is not typically the fastest way to St John and if you have never driven on the left, not always the best idea. See Ferry Tickets

Another way, probably the fastest most expensive way is a private water taxi from Crown Bay. Email us, if you want to explore these options and we will help you.

The slowest way, but in our opinion the best way. Go to any port on the East Coast. Go the local marina  and catch a ride on boat heading down. Some boats can make the trip in several days. We took over a year and recommend that pace.

 

t will save you time to buy your ferry tickets online and sometimes tickets are “Cash Only” if you buy at the booth. This also confirms that the particular ferry is running when you are traveling.  Ferry services fluctuate with changes in demand.  Remember that you will need to buy “Bag Tags” for each piece  of luggage. Usually anything with wheels is considered baggage.

People Ferries

Red Hook to Cruz Bay -Cruz Bay to Red Hook  (occasionally Charlotte Amalie to Cruz Bay and back) 

St. John Ferry Ticketing Company | Ferry to Red Hook & Cruz …https://stjohnticketing.com

 

Crown Bay to Cruz Bay – Cruz Bay to Crown Bay

https://www.interislandboatservices.com/

Car Ferries

There are several things to consider when renting a vehicle in St Thomas and using the car barge. If you’ve never been here, its usually not the best option.  Rules can be different island to island and same goes for support if you have a flat, lock your keys in the car or have a fender bender. Another consideration is most St John Car Rental agencies off free parking if you rent from them.  FREE IS GOOD . 

Another reason is if you are staying within easy walking distance of Cruz Bay, you might not need a car every day. You can rent one for a few days to explore the island, go to the beach’s etc. and the walk or taxi the other days. We do not have UBER.

We advise not to buy round trip tickets. That’s only because when you  pull up to the ferry dock, you can buy a ticket 1st car barge to load. On the return trip , If you had a Round trip , you have to wait till that ferry loads again. If they just left the dock your at, it could be a couple of hours before they are back and ready to load again.  Just pull up and buy a one way to return on the first barge loading. An exception to this is in extremely busy times. We have seen in the past, a couple of times where someone with an online ticket & reservation be let go ahead of all the cars in line for THAT barge. The only way for that to happen is for the ticket holder be assertive, get out of you car, walk past all the people in line to the person loading the ferry. The you have to convince that person to let you on past everyone else, because you have a reservation. Red Hook is even harder as its a two lane driveway, with no way to send people to the front of the line without a lot of help. 

We advise to take a people ferry and rent on St John. However, if you do rent on STT, these are the companies currently running barges.

Big Red Barge

https://www.bigredbarge.co/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMImOSTmZbx-AIVrsqUCR2RUQe6EAAYASAAEgJN2PD_BwE

Love City

https://www.lovecitycarferries.com/

Global Marine  No Website currently